Netflix and chill


If you’re of a certain age (as I am) and not managing to keep up with all the fast-paced changes in our lingo (as I’m not), you might be surprised to learn about a racy new turn-of-phrase that’s hit the big time. The next time a new buddy — or even an old one, for that matter — suggests that the two of you get together for “Netflix and chill,” please know that they’re probably not thinking rom-coms and relaxation, PJs and popcorn. Nope: they have other, more exotic intentions; they’re ready to put the x in your stream, baby, and getting touchy-feely doesn’t mean fishing for the remote in the cushion cracks. As of late last year, those three seemingly innocuous words have come to describe a completely different kind of shared experience — one that definitely won’t involve nachos, subtitles or the company of elderly relatives.

Where did this specially branded euphemism come from? It seems to have originated in Black Twitter (yes, there is such a thing), and started its compound life innocently enough, meaning exactly what it says: chilling — with friends or alone — in front of everyone’s favorite streaming service. But in summer 2014 the phrase got all nudge nudge wink wink as it began to populate the Twittersphere, and that October brought what some believe was the first overt and public acknowledgement of what had become a sexy new catchphrase, in a tweet by @itsIsaaaaaaac (aka Papi) that read: “Netflix and chill never means Netflix and chill now a days lol.”

A couple of months ago, Fusion published a potted history of the cheeky circumlocution, from its cozy start in 2009 to the booty call it names today.

And here’s a recap and update from Glosso:

  • “Netflix and chill” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in April 2015: “code for two people going to each others houses and f***ing or doing other sexual related acts” [Glosso’s bleeps]
  • The first (and now most popular) Facebook community page called Netflix and Chill was created in June 2015

For further reading: As Glossophilia said in an earlier post titled “The language of sex: come one, come all”:  “If you want to mosey through some smutty synonyms, here’s a selective list (and this is by no means comprehensive) of sexual dictionaries, covering every field imaginable in which sexual vocabulary might pop up, if you’ll excuse the expression. From Shakespeare to the Bible to American Sign Language, the language of sex is there if you need to find and understand it.”

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Hat-tip to Lil.